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Artist quotes

On the way to work 2009

Rim Ho Chol | North Korea (DPRK) b.1954 | On the way to work 2009 | Ink on paper (Chosunhua) | 200 x 200cm | Commissioned for APT6 | Collection: | Nicholas Bonner, Beijing | Courtesy: The artist and Nicholas Bonner

Workers home 2009

Jang Hue Ro | North Korea (DPRK) b.1954 | Worker’s home 2009 | Ink on paper (Chosunhua) | 200 x 200cm Commissioned for APT6 | Collection: Nicholas Bonner, Beijing | Courtesy: The artist and Nicholas Bonner

Breaktime 2009

Im Hyok | North Korea (DPRK) b.1965 | Breaktime 2009 | Ink on paper (Chosunhua) | 200 x 200cm | Commissioned for APT6 | Collection: Nicholas Bonner, Beijing | Courtesy: The artist and Nicholas Bonner

Choe Chang Ho First days of retirement 2009

Choe Chang Ho | North Korea (DPRK) b.1970 | First days of retirement 2009 | Ink on paper (Chosunhua) | 200 x 200cm | Commissioned for APT6 | Collection: Nicholas Bonner, Beijing | Courtesy: The artist and Nicholas Bonner

Choe Chang Ho

When I was selected to paint for the Australian exhibition I wanted to find a real worker who captured the spirit of the old man at the foundry. When I was in Kangson foundry the old man was too busy so he was not the ideal face for the painting that I had in mind. In July I spent 3 days walking around the city and found an elderly man in the metro — he was retired and previously worked in the Sadong Mining Machinery factory suburb of the city. I spoke to him and he agreed for me to take a photo in the park. Through this painting, if someone sees it, they will think about life and through this person they will understand about Korea.8

Im Hyok

Perhaps in Australia people should be surprised as they know only their own life — and here they are thinking they have come to a gallery to observe art but it is in fact a shock for them being observed by a Korean worker.9

Jang Hue Ro

Someone lives here and experiences their personal life here, from happiness and sadness under one roof. Where has the man gone? Perhaps a friend at the door . . . who knows? . . . you have entered someone’s private life. People who view my painting will be thinking this is a typical Korean worker’s home but in fact the man who lives here is special, with the books he continues to contribute to our country. The owner loves his family and life; I have hinted at that with the fish and flowers and the small objects that make a house a home.10

Rim Ho Chol

For the artists some see the life directly, that is, they go straight for the subject. But for art it is important not to think directly and I wanted to show the feeling of the workers heading to their jobs in winter time. The feeling of comradeship, morning, winter.11

...Next

Dream makers: The Mansudae Art Studio commissions in their local and global contexts (page 1) | (page 2) | (page 3) | (page 4) | (page 5) | (page 6) | Artist quotes | Endnotes